News and Updates


Houstonfest Scholarships: Winners Announced


Scholarships at State


NEW: Houstonfest history


Changes and updates for 2024


Contest promo video #1 (students from one school tell why they love contest)


Contest promo video #2 (one student tells why she loves contest)


State promo video contest


Teacher-to-teacher tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Arrival at Kingwood High School


Lunch options

Photo gallery


Daily log of changes to State-qualifier list


Important Dates


Mon. Jan. 8, 2024, 4:00 p.m.: Application for transportation grants from Houston Saengerbund opens (teachers will be sent a link to a Google Form).


Thur., Jan. 18, 2024, 11:59 p.m. (extended by 2 days, previous deadline 1/16):  Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for regular price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/22).


Mon., Jan. 22, 2024, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for late price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark Houstonfest payment.


Sat., Jan. 27, 2024, 9:00 a.m.: Submission of entries in the 7 virtual Houstonfest events due (get link to Google Form from your teacher - it was sent to them on Wed., Jan. 24).


Tue., Jan. 30, 2024, 11:59 p.m.: Remote judging of the 7 virtual Houstonfest events ends.


Wed., Jan. 31, 2024, 9:30 p.m.Houstonfest changes (adds, drops, substitutions) due. After this point, no more changes will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 3, 2024 Houstonfest, Heights High School, Houston.


Fri., Feb. 9, 2024, 11:59 p.m.State online registration due for "early bird" price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 2/14).


Wed., Feb. 14, 2024, 11:59 p.m.State online registration due for regular price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark your State payment.


Sat., Feb. 17, 2024, 9:00 a.m.: Submission of entries in the 7 virtual State events due (get the link to a Google Form from your teacher; it was emailed to them on 2/7 by the State director). Also, Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship and Sandra Dieckman GTHS Memorial Scholarship applications due (to submit the application, get the link to a Google Form from your teacher; it was emailed to them on 2/10 by the State director).


Mon., Feb. 19, 2024, 8:00 p.m.: Entries in State promotional video contest due to State director.


Tue., Feb. 20, 2024, 11:59 p.m.: Remote judging of the 7 virtual State events ends.


Sat., Feb. 24, 2024 Texas State German Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos.


Sat., Mar. 2, 2024, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


Sun., Mar. 10, 2024Gail Cope State Scholarship applications due.


rolling basis but no later than Tue., Apr. 30, for payment this school year: submit Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications.

Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


This is the place for teachers to share tried-and-true strategies for preparing students for Houstonfest.  If you have a tip you'd like to share, submit it to the contest director.



Houstonfest director Rustin Buck, now retired from teaching, is willing to visit your school to make a presentation about Houstonfest to your classes or your German Club. Contact him to arrange a date.




Sign-Up List


I'm not sure how everyone handles having the students sign up for events, but here is a sign-up list that has spaces for all events offered at Houstonfest (meant to be printed and filled in by hand, although I guess you could type in it, too):


sign-up list for a normal, in-person contest (updated for 2024)


After talking to my classes about what Houstonfest is, I designate one morning a few days later when I hang up these lists around the room 30 minutes before school starts, and students can come in to sign up for what they want to do, first-come, first-served. We continue filling them up during class throughout the day. This is usually in October for me -- some may want to start earlier or later.


Even if you have a different method, the list may be useful for you because it has all events listed with the correct number of slots that are available for each. For group events that have no maximum size (folk dance, skit, etc.), I included  a number of slots that I thought would be at the upper end of how many kids might want to sign up.


- submitted by Rustin Buck


Pass auf! Study Guides


The State director of Pass auf! has provided a Pass auf! Study Guide and a Vocabulary List for Erdkunde to guide contestants' studying.


As of 2017 there is a designated theme for each year. See more information on the Pass auf! Rules Page, Rule #7.  The theme for 2024 is UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Intangible Heritage Elements in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. There will be at least one question per round dealing with the year's theme. Past themes were the Protestant Reformation (in 2017 in honor of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517), the German-Speaking World 1914-1945 (in 2018 inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I), German-Americans (2019), German-Texans (2020), no Pass auf! contest in 2021, Bach/Beethoven/Brahms (2022), and Scientists in the D-A-CH-L Länder - Space, Medicine, Math (2023).



Compilation of tips from fall 2012 TFLA session by Rustin Buck and Jennifer Christianson:

link to webpage on Sprachfest site

as PDF



Contacts for Polka Band Music


TRN Music Publisher, Inc.


- submitted by Laura Braun


Source of Choral Music


cpdl.org - lots of free PDFs of choral music; just look up a German composer by last name.


- submitted by Laura Braun


Sources of Poetry/Prose Selections




Projekt Gutenberg (inexhaustible compendium of literature that is out of copyright!)


- submitted by Laura Braun



My Ukrainian exchange student just showed me a great website for German poetry. As far as I can tell, every German poem ever written is on this site. There are just thousands upon thousands of poems with the names of the authors. It's definitely a good resource for contest.


- submitted by David Kniess


When is the next Houstonfest?



February 8, 2025


Where is Houstonfest?


Kingwood High School

2701 Kingwood Dr.

Kingwood, TX 77339

(new location in 2025!)


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook


Texas State German Contest 40th Anniversary Facebook Group